I was in awe that a weedy, lily pad filled stretch of water beside a dock could be so enchanting and magical; it looked like an underwater fairy world. It was one of my last weeks’ vacation moments that brought me to my “happy place”. Life’s too short keeps ringing in my ears from attending a dear friends’ 60th birthday party who is battling cancer this past weekend. “Enjoy life every day”, I heard said. So if life’s so short how do I get to that “happy place” on a regular basis? What did I do last week that I can bring to my everyday work life?
I played as a pirate. My niece’s boyfriend and I were kayaking and came across and abandoned sail boat. Miraculously it floated. Encouraged by me, we climbed aboard to explore and I heard my 10 year old self ask aloud, “Wouldn’t it be fun to take it back with us”? His grin said it all. After ½ hour of back breaking paddling and laughing we popped out of the grasses to the surprise of our family on the pontoon boat. I was high on the feeling of adventure.
I played as a photographer. After an afternoon of shoe shopping (next happy place) with my sister and step mother the highlight was our ½ hour chat over coffee & selfie fail that had me wiping tears from laughter.
I played in the water (double water skied with my niece, that was a first) and tubed with my sister hanging on for dear life, & laughing ‘till my face hurt.
I played as a cook. We made crazy big breakfasts having one of a kind sandwiches (French toast, pulled pork, jalapeno cheese, scrambled eggs, syrup & bacon).
I played as a solider in laser tag with my kids, laughingly dodging their ambushes & being the human shield for my youngest.
There were also peace filled moments listening as a student to the camp’s guest speaker Brett Ullman speak about social media, culture, depression & anxiety. Weighty topics not typically tackled by the Christian community with such authenticity and vulnerability. My heart swelled when I saw the whole family file in at 9:30am to listen in support of their cousin’s who are struggling with it. Just Wow.
So how can I bring that happy place home? I realize that I have that 10 year old girl still inside of me, ready to be playful if I give her an opportunity to explore, express & just be. She is my happy place. Brett said you need to make a change in three days of hearing something or you just won’t. Have you got your “play” on today?
Brett Ullman’s talk & blog